By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Austin Trout is thankful that he has received this title shot, especially since he lost his last fight.
The former WBA super welterweight champion just wishes so much time hadn’t passed between his loss to Jermall Charlo and his shot at Jarrett Hurd. Trout (30-3, 17 KOs) will end a 16-month layoff when he challenges the newly crowned Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs) for his IBF junior middleweight championship October 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Showtime).
“It’s a real bummer because there was no real reason for me to be off,” Trout told BoxingScene.com. “I wasn’t hurt, I didn’t have any litigation. It wasn’t even politics that kept me out. So I can’t tell you why I haven’t fought in so long.
“I’m not happy about it, but it’s like, what am I gonna do? Say, ‘Nah, don’t give me this world title shot. I need a tune-up first?’ Because then I’ll never get that title shot again. I had to take it when it came. I had to come and grab it.”
Hurd, of Accokeek, Maryland, will make the first defense of the then-vacant IBF 154-pound title he won by stopping Detroit’s Tony Harrison (24-2, 20 KOs) in the ninth round February 25 at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Charlo, who beat Trout by unanimous decision in May 2016, gave up the title Hurd won to move up to the middleweight division.
The undefeated Hurd, 27, will make an optional defense against Trout, a 32-year-old southpaw from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Trout thought they would fight sometime in the spring, but has done his best to avoid ring rust by remaining in the gym.
“We were supposed to fight in April and then it just got pushed back and pushed back,” Trout said. “And now here we are in October. April wouldn’t have been so bad. But now it’s 16, 17 months. If they think that’s gonna be good for them, they’re highly mistaken. I’ve been working this whole time, waiting to get the call.”
Hurd-Trout will be part of a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader that’ll exclusively showcase 154-pounders.
In the co-featured fight, Houston’s Jermell Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) is scheduled to defend his WBC super welterweight title against mandatory challenger Erickson Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs), of Orlando, Florida. In the main event, Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs) is set to defend his WBA and IBO super welterweight championships against Cleveland’s Terrell Gausha (20-0, 9 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.